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Thread: ESA Phone Assessment

  1. #1

    ESA Phone Assessment


    I'm highly stressed/anxious.

    I was sent a letter saying I had been invited for a phone assessment... I got the letter on the 26th, it was dated the 24th and the assessment was for the 24th, I then had an anxiety attack and my Son called, they rearranged it for the 3rd of Sept..

    I have a few questions.

    1. Is anyone allowed to speak on your behalf or can they only help you? I have significant anxiety, agoraphobia, social phobia, depression and FM and I have undiagnosed complex PTSD and GAD and I also disassociate when stressed so I end up in kind of like robot mode, feeling numb and just reeling out responses which I know isn't go in assessments but I can't really help which is partly why I'm so worried. Is my son allowed to tell the assessor if I have an anxiety attack or if he notices me acting strange etc?

    2. The last time I had an ESA50 was in 2017, so I'm assuming they are going off that info, is this normal or should they have sent me a new form?!

    3. Does being an appointee allow people to speak on your behalf because I've been told a mixture of things about it so I'm a tad confused.

    4. Does anyone have any tips for me in regards to the assessment, I'm assuming that I put the phone on speaker considering they are saying you can have someone there. The problem is, more often that not, I don't know how to explain how things make me feel, I'm not very good at explaining things in general and my memory, concentration and attention span are awful. I was thinking notes and having the old form at hand may help but I don't know?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member TimeLord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    If you can have someone with you then do so it's not a crime use speakerphone, also if you really find it that difficult explaining verbally ask that they send you the paper form don't say' you can print them off that comes up way to large. So request a paper form if it becomes to difficult by telephone. At the end of the day as long as they pay you that is all that matters and you could ask your surgery if the GP can write a letter for you.

    Also look at the form online and write note's so you have an idea of the questions.

    You will find a download on the list below compiled by Nukecad via
    Last edited by TimeLord; 30-08-21 at 15:13.

  3. #3
    Ok thanks.

    My problem is, with my mixed mental health problems, I'm not exactly assertive and I tend to people please because I don't like upsetting others, it's a problem when I speak to people in general, for example a GP, I'll tell them something, they'll fob me off or just sit there nodding and I won't say anything to express that I'm not happy with it, it's called "fawning", plus I believe when I got very stressed and have an anxiety attack I then switch off and go into what I refer to as "autopilot" or "robot mode", it's a strange experience because I feel like I'm looking through someone else's eyes. It's partly why I'm worrying, I don't want to reel out a load of rubbish because I feel like I want to get rid of the person asap.

    Yeah, I've been trying to do that but I keep getting anxious then my brain switches off so I have to stop and I also don't have the best concentration or attention span.

    I do still have the form from 2017, I've got that here, do you think the assessor will refer to that? The only things that have really changed from the form is that I realise that I have a few more mental health problems.

    In regards to my GP, getting anything from them is like getting blood from a stone half of the time, last time my Son asked for a letter, the receptionist sat there and bitched at him.. It's gotten to the point where I've contacted and advocacy to see if they can help me to actually get the GP's to take my health problems more seriously because my mental health has gotten worse, I'm just waiting for the advocacies response about it.

    Thanks again, I'll try and continue to do the notes today.

    Do they have a specific order in regards to how and what they ask or is it just random?

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Forget doing a new form unless they ask you to,
    from what you say then you are past that stage and the telephone call is a Work Capability Assessment.
    In this case a Reassessment.

    They don't need to send out an ESA50/UC50 first, that form is only the first step of the whole assessment process and if they have the information already isn't needed.

    What type of assessment did you have back in 2107?
    Was it Face to Face at an assessment centre, a Home Visit, or done on paperwork only?

    A telephone assessment is not that different from a face to face assessment, except that obviously you are not face to face in the same room.
    You could even think of it as a Home Assessment because you don't have to go to their offices.

    There is no problem with you having notes to refer to during the call.

    There is no problem with you having someone with you, or in using speakerphone.

    Whether the other person will be allowed to speak for you is more problematical and down to the individual assessor.
    On the one hand it's you that they are assessing and so need to talk to, on the other hand if you are not talking at all or babbling then things are not going to get very far.

    Someone giving you help, prompting, and letting the assessor know if you are having a problem, should be OK.
    But if the assessor feels that things are not going as they should, and they are not getting evidence from you, then they can stop the assessment.
    If that should happen the DWP then have to consider if they can do an assessment on paper, or if they need to call you in for a face to face assessment.

    In the end though it's you that the assessor wants to talk to, they are assessing you not someone else.

    The questions should be in roughly the same order as on an ESA50, but they can jump about and can ask less or more about something depending on what you have already said.

    PS. You are getting different answers about 'appointees' because there are different types of appointeeship - DWP appointeees, 3 kinds of power of attorney, and 2 kinds of court appointees also called deputies - all of those are often wrongly referred to as just 'appointee'.
    This Mencap factsheet explains that a bit more : attorneys.pdf
    Last edited by nukecad; 31-08-21 at 10:13.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  5. #5

    Well this is the thing, so I was deemed fit for work twice, back to back, I was placed in WRAG by the tribunal panel in 2012 I think it was, in around 2013 they then asked me to fill out another form, that went back, no response to that, then in 2017, I was asked to fill in another form and again, no assessment until now. This is why I'm asking if I should be filling another one in because they have sent me one each and every time, so I obviously thought it was normal. I didn't realise you didn't need to do one for a reassessment!

    That is my biggest worry, that I'll babble, there would be no point in them giving me a f2f, it would be as bad if not worse, I can't handle people in general, even people that I know sadly. I'll have the notes open on the pc with the ESA50 so I can refer back to them if I get stuck when explaining, I'll also get my Son to give me a nudge/prompt. If I do happen to have an anxiety attack, is my Son allowed to intervene an let the assessor know? I'm hoping I won't have one.

    Ahh thank you for the info on appointee's! I'll have a look at it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    If this happens and no form is sent out how are you meant to give new evidence if you have any ? Psychiatry letters etc

  7. #7
    Hmm, I think maybe you'd need to call them and ask but then again, isn't it actually based on when you fill the form out and send it in?

    I have no new evidence due to me trying treatments offered and nothing helping sadly.

    I think I've just gotten myself an advocate to help with getting proper help from the GP, which is a relief.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Im expecting a reassessment any day soon as I’ve not be reassessed since 2018/2019 , if I get a letter saying they’d want a telephone assessment without a new UC50 I’d have no chance to send in my new evidence as since my last form I’ve been in long term weekly intense therapy ( some meds have changed also ) and have letters from therapists. I really thought all reassessments done first gave you the form to fill in.

  9. #9
    Yeah I don't know, it's a bit weird.

  10. #10
    I found out a bit more information about it, Welfare Rights kindly called the assessment company. It would appear it was a reassessment and that it was put down as an home visit which was postponed until now. He said they understand that the form is old and that I can tell them of any new problems, he also said to make sure that I told them everything that I have wrong regardless of it being diagnosed or not because if it was brought up in an appeal and I hadn't mentioned it, they could then say it was a new problem.

    I'm currently making my notes which I hope will help me during the assessment.

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